Mind body Interactions (MBI’s) have always played a crucial part in our lives but the molecular mechanisms of these benefits have been poorly understood. Along with eating healthy, exercising, and living a happy lifestyle it is now shown that practicing MBI’s can reduce stress. This happens with small changes in our DNA by transcription factors. The MBI’s possibly reverse certain expressions of genes involved in inflammatory reactions that are induced by stress. A major anti-inflammatory nuclear factor called kappa B pathway (NF-kB) is now shown to be involved in yoga as the gene coding for it is downregulated during these practices.
This pathway NF-kB “anti-inflammatory” can be turned on in several scenarios. This is a short overview on how that can happen.
Stress is classified as when our body encounters a feeling or has a response to an event that is perceived as a threat or challenge. This can cause health risks when our body encounters this “feeling” over a long period of time without proper coping mechanisms. It is proven that severe stressors have a profound influence on our body and can lead to changes in our biology. These changes occur by the up or downregulation of certain genes leading to inflammation at the cellular level. One example of a result of stress is the upregulation of a pro-inflammatory gene such as NF-kB. Although acute inflammation is short lived and our body can combat this by increasing the activity of our immune system, over time as inflammation grows it can be more difficult to control. Our body adapts overtime to the continuous secretion of these cytokines and become less sensitive to their anti-inflammatory effect. In the long run this can lead to inflammation-related diseases and/or infection.
Ultimately this review proves that through several different MBI we can decrease the expression of anti-inflammatory genes which can improve our overall mental and physical health.